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Mexican Grill Franchise Chronic Tacos Has “Nothing To Hide”

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tacos california

tacos californiaThis Mexican franchise is promoting a transparent menu and a commitment to quality. With 35 locations across the country and anticipating 14 more openings in the first quarter of 2017 in California, Alabama, Colorado, Canada, North Carolina, Florida, and Washington, Chronic Tacos is taking over with their fast casual franchise. The Mohammed brothers, Michael, Dave, Dan and Joey, lead the franchise towards growth across North America. Chronic Tacos started a campaign called “Nothing to Hide” to highlight traceability, all-natural proteins, and eco-friendly products in all their locations. You can find customizable burritos, tacos, tostada bowls, and much more with the following quality commitments:   

·      All natural proteins with no artificial ingredients, hormones.
·      Non-GMO tortilla options
·      Eco-friendly paper products that are compostable and biodegradable
·      Full traceability in the supply chain for all produce

Speaking to Michael Mohammed, we were able to get an in-depth look into their “Taco Life” including company culture and The Annual Taco Eating Contest.

 

What is your favorite thing to order at Chronic Tacos?

I almost always order a Carne Asada Bowl-rito with added shrimp: half cabbage, half lettuce, Spanish rice, Pinto beans, with guac and Roja hot sauce on the side.

What differentiates Chronic Tacos from competitors?

chronic tacos california
What makes Chronic Tacos unique is how we’re celebrating the individuality of our guests through our completely customizable menu. All of our ingredients are laid out in front of the guests, allowing them freedom and creativity with their meals.

While we grow as a brand, we continue to remain true to our roots and our third-generation recipes. Our celebration of authenticity is seen through our high-quality ingredients. Our Pico de Gallo, guacamole, and hot sauces are made from scratch, and you can really taste the difference. Our dedication to the quality of our food separates us from other Fast Casual chains.

We remain unparalleled in that we’re not just a Fast Casual chain, we’re a lifestyle brand. From the custom artwork on our walls, the music playing in our restaurants, and our involvement with action sports– the Taco Life embodies authenticity, activity, and individuality.

Describe the company culture.

Our culture encompasses open mindedness without the fear of change. Our everyday environment tends to be pretty easy going; we believe in working hard and having fun. Humor is a big part of who we are, as we try not to take ourselves too seriously, but despite our laid-back environment, we are very results driven.

What are your backgrounds?

I come from a very entrepreneurial family, and I have a background in finance and sales. I was a financial analyst at Boeing, then worked for the family business in sales. After working for the family business, my brothers and I partnered in some real estate developments and private investing, which eventually lead us to Chronic Tacos.

What inspires you to continue to grow the Chronic Tacos franchise?

We love what we do. I love working with my family to build something that we believe in, it’s very fulfilling. We’re driven by what we believe Chronic Tacos can be, we believe in this brand’s potential. Seeing people embrace the uniqueness and individuality of what we call the “Taco Life” inspires us.

What are some of your favorite events that you’ve held?

The Annual Taco Eating contests are always a lot of fun. We partner with Gringo Bandito Hot Sauce and bring in professional eaters, like the eating champion Takeru Kobayashi. It’s a great opportunity to have fun and interact with our customers and fans.

We also have a good time with our Grand Opening parties, there’s live music, prize giveaways, and amateur taco eating contests. We cater Angels Baseball events and Live Nation– those are great, too.

How did you decide on your branding?

When we bought the company, we loved the uniqueness of the brand, but it seemed disjointed. We decided to focus on what we found important: the authenticity of our food and culture. Our branding and art needed to reflect that. We use Day of the Dead artwork to tie into our authentic recipes, and our music shows our Southern California roots.

Who are some high profile people you’ve worked with?

Every year, we work with Ryan Sheckler and the Sheckler Foundation for the Skate For A Cause event. This event keeps us involved with action sports and is a great opportunity for us to give back to the community. Jason ‘Wee Man’ Acuña is a long-time business partner of ours who we have a great relationship with. He owns a Chronic Tacos in Long Beach. We also partner with Dexter Holland of The Offspring. He owns Gringo Bandito Hot Sauce and we partner with them for our Annual Taco Eating contest.

Why did you go into the restaurant industry?

My brothers and I saw an opportunity with this brand, we saw potential in it. We were confident that we could utilize our skill sets in a way that would enhance the brand.

Where do you see the company in the near future?

We will continue to grow nationally and open new stores. As we continue to expand, we won’t lose sight of where we started. We want to be one of the most respected brands in the industry, with a customer base who appreciates the experience we provide. It’s important to us to be a franchise that franchisees want to partner with.

 

Jie writes about influencers and startups in various industries. She is a designer turned techie, and when she is not writing, you can find her in her workshop working on her next big project.

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Business

Lo & Sons Introduces The Hanover Deluxe Tech Backpack

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Hanover Deluxe

Every techie entrepreneur needs a backpack equipped to handle a variety of gadgets, devices, and other miscellaneous travel items. Whether you are going on a short business trip or just need something to hold your laptop, the Hanover Deluxe provides the necessary versatility. The tech backpack is lightweight and ideal for traveling.

The Deluxe is an upgrade from the original Hanover and now has more storage space, which is good for fitting in a larger laptop. The original Hanover could fit a 13” laptop, while the deluxe can accommodate up to 15”. The Deluxe can be used by men and women and is perfect for everyday traveling, or even to be used as a spacious carry-on bag during a flight. The original Hanover weighed in at 1.75lbs and the Deluxe weighs in at only 2.2lbs but has a lot more storage space. If you decide to use the Deluxe as a carry-on during a flight the unique minimalist design can not only store all of your travel necessities, but can also fit comfortably under most airline seats.

Hanover Deluxe

Lo & Sons definitely hit the mark with the creation of the Hanover Deluxe. Similar to the original, the deluxe is also eco-friendly. The bag is made from recycled poly which, in a nutshell, is a highly resistant form of polyester made from recycled plastic water bottles. The poly is reinforced in a way that it prevents any unnecessary tears or rips that can occur from excessive travel or commuting. The process to making the bag is simple, yet effective and is part of their greater mission to protect the environment. The plastic bottles are collected, then they are washed and cut into small pieces. The plastic is melted and woven into fabric, and then turned into the Hanover travel backpack. Not only is the bag durable, it is spacious, lightweight, and convenient for commuters and consistent travelers.

Hanover Deluxe

Lo & Sons is dedicated to keeping the environment clean by removing plastic bottles that are clogging up landfills at an alarming rate. Recycled poly is a fairly new fabric which has given new life to plastic bottles. The goal is to take those plastic bottles and turn them into fabric in order to lengthen the lifespan of Polyethylene Terephthalate (often known as PET), and ultimately contribute to cleaning up the Earth. Lo & Sons is using the initiative to not only create products that are eco-friendly but to also purify some of the destinations that their customers will travel to with these backpacks. Recycling plastic makes a long term difference in ways such as producing less greenhouse gas emissions, keeping animals safe by having less plastic in the ocean, and keeping landfills clear.

Though the Hanover Deluxe incorporates some new and useful features, they kept some of the features from the original. The Hanover Deluxe still has padded shoulder straps, easy to use storage pockets for water bottles and such, a key leash to keep track of your keys, and removable inserts for easy storage. The Lo & Sons website even has a new cool feature that lets you look at different heights of people to see how the bag will look according to your particular body frame. Some of the changes include outer pockets that are easy to access using one hand (perfect for people rushing to catch a train, bus, etc). The new insert in the front compartment is now gray and see-through so that you can easily view the things that you’ve packed.

The Hanover Deluxe boasts a more organizational design than the original due to the complexity of the compartments that it has. The tech backpack now has removable pouches for your items, and are easy to remove to pack for the work week. The pouches in the front are more organized than the original and include a zippable compartment for smaller items that you may need but don’t want to forget. The tech backpack is engineered where the zippers can be opened using one hand. So, if you have your hands full you can easily reach and grab your water bottle or umbrella. The zippers were also woven together in a secure fashion so that they will endure constant traveling.

The Hanover Deluxe retails for $148.00 and is available through Lo & Sons official website. If you are looking for an affordable, durable, and eco-friendly tech friendly backpack, the Hanover Deluxe is perfect! Supporting the long term mission that Lo & Sons has to clean up the Earth is not only admirable, but also solves a big problem. Recycling plastic creates less gas emissions which leads to less waste in the environment and conserves natural resources. Not only is this bag convenient for traveling, but is spacious enough to fit all of your tech related equipment and even light clothes and accessories. The backpack is a great gift for the entrepreneurs in your life who are always on the go, and need a lightweight source to transport all of their precious devices.

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Business

5 Airport Hacks For Business Traveling

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business traveling

Do you want to skip long queues, drink for free, get good prices on seats or learn how to get a free upgrade to first class? If so, read on because we’ve compiled 5 of the best airport hacks for business traveling. These tips can help you save money and make your trip a bit more comfortable.

1. Sign Up for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry

If you want to skip long lines, signing up for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry will allow you to breeze through security lines. Once approved, you are whisked ahead and there is no need to take off your shoes or remove your laptop from its case. It makes business traveling easy and more civilized. The US, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, the Netherlands and other countries have similar pre-scanning programs that work with Global Entry.

The TSA PreCheck makes traveling domestically simpler while Global Entry makes returning from an international trip easier as it eradicates paperwork and long queues. Basically, they are clearance from the US Customs and Border Protection that designate people as low-risk travelers. All it takes is a background check, interview and payment of fees and you can clear customs in a hurry.

2. Boarding Pass

Boarding passes like tickets are downloadable and printable nowadays. However, we are still a slave of technology and many of us have had embarrassing moments where we can’t find our boarding pass on our phone or the app suddenly hangs. Avoid these embarrassing moments by taking a screenshot of your pass and showing it to the boarding gate. Screenshots are easier to find and don’t require the use of an internet connection.

3. Pay For First Class Lounge

This hack comes in handy if you travel a lot. The first class lounge costs around $30-$50 and has access to free drinks (including alcohol), internet, comfortable seats and free food. In some airports there are even shower rooms and quiet rooms for sleeping. If you have a long lay over, the first class lounge can be money well spent. Business traveling in style.

4. Book the Red-Eye

Taking the red-eye can be less stressful than taking other flights. Taking the last flight in or out helps you avoid the hustle and bustle of the airport and roads. Choose late night flights especially if it’s an overnighter. If it leaves at 10pm, you can avoid rush hour traffic, lines at security and check-in will be minimal and the airport will be less crowded and you can fall asleep during your flight and wake-up at your destination.

5. Save On Internet Fees

Roaming for your cellular device can be very expensive for data and internet. Instead of racking up charges, sign up for Boingo, a wifi hotspot provider. They charge around $4.98 per month for internet access in the Americas and $59 a month for worldwide coverage. Check your American Express platinum card if you can get a subscription for free so you can network while you’re in the air.

Check if your airline has a loyalty program. This will encourage you to travel more frequently as your rack up the miles and get more perks. Keeping this in mind will make your business trips cost less and traveling easier.

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Lifestyle

Tech Traveler Must Haves

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Constant travel makes packing difficult, but these products can make your on-the-go lifestyle much more efficient. You know you’re a tech traveler when your dongles are spilling out of your suitcase. Sometimes it may even be difficult to find a place to plug in these dongles. We compiled a list of products that ensures that your tech traveler lifestyle is up to par as well as enhances your experience, wherever you may be.

Memobottle

Memobottle is a water bottle designed to fit perfectly between your books or laying flat against your laptop. This rectangular, flat bottle design is sleek and is sure to spark some conversation. Slide your bottle into your briefcase or laptop bag without having your bag become bulky, which is a lifesaver when you’re a fellow tech traveler. Memobottle is a sustainable alternative to disposable plastic water bottles. It is stylish and durable, making it an essential for everyday use.

 

Nomand USB charging hub

Because of our need to be connected, we may need to charge a bunch of different devices at the same time. The Nomad USB Charging Hub is sleek in design and fits perfectly into your environment. The charging hub is perfect for every tech traveler. You can charge up to five devices in one place, relieving you of the stress of searching for multiple outlets. The flat surface allows you to rest your phone or iPad on top. The Charging Hub also has an ambient light sensor that dims the LED indicator in the dark, allowing you to sleep peacefully.

 

Raden Suitcase

What makes the Raden suitcase unique is the technology they integrated into the suitcase. Think about some of the basic fears we now have when flying: losing our suitcase, having to pay extra fees, or running out of batteries on our phone with no outlet available nearby. The Raden suitcase solves these three concerns with their app. We may be able to fit everything we need into a conventional suitcase but usually forget about the weight. Well, the Raden suitcase is its own scale. After connecting the suitcase to the app, lift the handle of the suitcase to find out the weight and avoid overweight fees. With bluetooth technology, the app will notify you when your suitcase is nearby. No more fighting with other travelers for space circling the carousel watching as each bag falls down from the entrance. Stand back and let your suitcase tell you when it is coming.

Running out of batteries has become one of our biggest fears – especially if being connected is a part of our job. Well, the Raden suitcase is here to save you if you miss your connection or spent too much time playing games on your phone and now need a charge. There is a built in USB charger port right behind the handlebar that can completely charge up to four phones. Plug the charging wire into the battery without removing it to charge up the suitcase or remove the battery, charge it and used as a portal changer once you have reached your destination. This suitcase is a combination of old and new. The Raden suitcase has four 360 degree wheels. Their use of polycarbonate shell allows the suitcase to be durable against TSA throwing your suitcase around, but at the same time is lightweight and smooth. The zipper is reversed, making it water resistance, great for keeping your belongings secure and dry when traveling to rainy destinations.

 

Lexdray Laptop Case

As we become more dependent on technology, besides a cell phone, a laptop is the next most important device to keep us connected and get our work done – especially those in the technology field. A prime investment for our previous laptops is the Lexdray laptop case. The case is “ultra paddled” with fleece lining for their main compartment as well as the two side compartments for chargers and other essentials.  The water repellent zippers are great for running from house to car, car to building, building to restaurant without worrying about our electrics getting wet.

Zest Tea

To get that boost of energy and focus you are craving for without the crash, try Zest Tea. They currently offer four flavors from something simple like earl gray black tea to something bold like pomegranate mojito green tea. Each flavor of Zest Tea is highly fragrant, and drinking it leaves you feeling instantly refreshed. This is especially important for the tech traveler who is awake at all hours of the day, going from place to place.

Once you hit a certain age, highly caffeinated beverages are your best friends when we need a bit of extra energy. It becomes a necessity. You get the energy boost you are looking for but it comes with a consequence. You become jittery, especially when you are lacking the drink, and you crash once the caffeine wears off. Zest Tea gives you the energy you need without the uncomfortable side effects.

 

Happiness Planner

Technology has consumed our lives for better and for worst. Before smart phones and social media became such an essential part of our lives. Going back to the old school way of pen and paper allows us to disconnect from the world and have a moment to ourselves: right here, right now. The Happiness Planner is laid out in a way to help you take a step back from technology and focus on simpler things in life that makes us happy. 

Each morning, start off by thinking about what excited and inspires you. A positive mindset will set your day in a good direction. As you are writing, more ideas will come to you and before you know it, you are have the right attitude to conquer any difficult task that may come your way. At the end of the day, reflect on all the good things that happened that day. You will realize that this world isn’t as bad as the news makes it seem.

 

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